Guard present during 'Bucky' Phillips escape can have job back

Ralph "Bucky" Phillips / file photo

An arbitrator has ruled that a correction officer fired after Ralph "Bucky" Phillips escaped from a western New York jail can get his job back.

Phillips shot three state troopers, one fatally, after escaping from Erie County's jail outside Buffalo in 2006. The sheriff's office says David Padilla was working in the jail's control room the day of the escape and ignored an alarm that went off.

Padilla's attorney argued that that county authorities couldn't prove Padilla ignored the alarm.

Buffalo television stations WIVB and WGRZ report the arbitrator has ruled Padilla's firing wasn't for just cause and he must be reinstated to his job.

Phillips escaped in April 2006 and spent five months on the lam before being captured in western Pennsylvania. He's serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.